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City of Mitchell gets only one recycling bid

The city of Mitchell’s current recycling contractor was the only company to bid on the city’s new recycling contract.

Dependable Recycling, owned by Dependable Sanitation Inc., of Aberdeen, could remain the city’s recycling contractor if the Mitchell City Council accepts the company’s bid. It would have the city paying a $238,560 annual fee for recycling services, according to city Street and Sanitation Superintendent Ron Olson. The bid was opened Friday.

That’s an increase from the $204,996 per year the city pays Dependable Recycling under its current five-year contract, which expires at the end of the year.

Dependable Recycling has been the city’s recycling contractor since Mitchell became the first city in South Dakota to offer a curbside recycling program in 1996.

The types of recyclable materials accepted would be expanded under the new contract to include two additional types of plastic — No. 3 and No. 7 — as well as an additional type of cardboard known as chipboard, which includes cereal boxes. Those would be added to materials accepted under the current contract, including aluminum; steel and bi-metal cans; No. 1 and No. 2 plastics; newspapers, magazines and catalogs; clear and brown glass containers; corrugated cardboard; mixed-residential mail; and phone books.

Dependable Recycling also agreed to offer recycling services to large institutions, such as Dakota Wesleyan University or Avera Queen of Peace Hospital, which could fill a large container to be collected on a weekly basis. In Dependable Recycling’s bid, the fee for those services would be $60 per month, Olson said.

Residential recycling is included on utility bills, whether or not residents actually recycle. The current fee is $3 per month, and Olson said it would have to go up by 25-35 cents per month for the program to continue paying for itself under the new bid. The decision to raise the fee is up to the City Council.

No bids were submitted for single-stream recycling services, which allow all recyclable items to be placed in a single collection bin for later separation at a recycling center. Under the current system, recyclables are sorted as they’re picked up from the curb. In a single-stream system, recyclables are picked up and transported together to a sorting facility to be separated.